Who are the strongest Z Fighters at the end of the Dragon Ball Super anime series? First airing in 2015, Dragon Ball Super was the long-awaited TV continuation of Goku’s story, picking up shortly after the completion of Dragon Ball Z’s Buu saga. In many ways, Dragon Ball Super has been markedly different compared to past series, and unlike the old days, there have been some notable deviations between the anime and manga. Dragon Ball Super has also introduced plenty of new lore to the franchise, and this has dramatically affected the Dragon Ball power levels, all of which are now well over 9000.
The Dragon Ball Super anime is currently on an indefinite hiatus following the Tournament of Power saga, with the hugely successful Dragon Ball Super: Broly movie marking the final chapter. However, the Dragon Ball Super manga series has continued uninterrupted, and it remains to be seen whether the anime will one day pick up that thread, start a new saga, or focus exclusively on cinematic releases.
At this natural break in the Dragon Ball Super anime, it’s perhaps appropriate to assess how each of the main heroes, colloquially known as the Z Fighters, rank against each other in terms of power from weakest to strongest. Who has beefed-up since the days of Dragon Ball Z, and who’s been skipping their training?
Chiaotzu in Dragon Ball Z
As with most of the lower-tier Z Fighters, Chiaotzu became gradually more redundant throughout Dragon Ball Z, and that progression comes to its natural conclusion in Dragon Ball Super, where Tien’s odd-looking partner mostly just stands in the background. With no real fights to speak of, it’s difficult to gauge Chiaotzu’s current power, but the fact that he’s not even considered as a potential candidate in any tournaments or friendly battles says more than enough. At least Chiaotzu’s psychic abilities seem to be intact.
Picking the weakest Z Fighter out of Chiaotzu and Yamcha is like picking the most disgusting Saw movie – there’s no real right answer. Yamcha acts as a running joke throughout Dragon Ball Super, to the point where the other Z Fighters forget he exists altogether. Along the same lines, the sequel series itself forgets that Yamcha was actually a capable fighter once upon a time. The only moment that slightly elevates Yamcha above Chiaotzu in the ranking comes from recent events in the Dragon Ball Super manga, where the baseball star (at least he’s good at something!) is seen taking out some of Moro’s weaker goons.
Moving up into Dragon Ball Super’s proper fighters, Tien isn’t a regular feature in the sequel anime, but he is afforded a few standout moments that prove his continuous training has paid off. After being effortlessly knocked aside by Beerus at the beginning of Dragon Ball Super, Tien later helps fight off Frieza’s henchmen in the Resurrection F saga, but doesn’t cover himself in glory, eventually defeated by Captain Ginyu along with his allies. The former Crane pupil is also revealed to have established a martial arts school of his own, but takes a break to compete in the Tournament of Power where, despite being eliminated early, his performance earns praise from none other than Beerus. Unlike Yamcha and Chiaotzu, Tien has continued to better himself.
Dragon Ball: Why Ultimate Gohan Doesn’t Go Super Saiyan
The strength of Master Roshi in Dragon Ball Super is somewhat of a curiosity, and a significant retcon from the days of Dragon Ball Z. The Turtle Hermit stopped being an active fighter around the time of the Saiyan saga, allowing his students to inherit the responsibility of defending the Earth. Strangely, Roshi has become far more active in Dragon Ball Super, while also receiving an unexplained bump in power. Roshi puts in a strong showing against Frieza’s lackeys in Resurrection F, bringing back his rarely-seen muscular form, but it’s the Tournament of Power where Roshi’s true strength is unveiled. Lasting longer than most of his students, Roshi proves invaluable in the tournament, and is also afforded the respect of Beerus. More importantly, Roshi goes toe-to-toe with Jiren in the manga and there’s some suggestion of him possessing a degree of Ultra Instinct. Roshi’s power level has been a source of controversy in Dragon Ball Super, but there’s no denying he’s stronger than he used to be.
There’s no argument that Master Roshi comes out of Dragon Ball Super looking better than Krillin, especially since the bald-headed, nose-free character is the first Universe 7 elimination in the Tournament of Power, but there’s still reason to believe that Krillin has surpassed his old master. At the end of Dragon Ball Z, most fans consider Krillin to be the strongest pure human in the series. Krillin’s arc in Dragon Ball Super centers around rediscovering his fighting spirit, and the long-running character also showcases some nifty new ki tricks. Krillin’s best moment comes while fighting Frieza’s invading army – the strongest the character has looked for years.
While Roshi might get the bigger moments, Krillin remains the superior fighter of the two. His exit in the Tournament of Power is more a reference to the trope of always having bad luck than a genuine sign Krillin is weak, and Roshi’s controversial power-up is confirmed to only work in specific circumstances (not having perverted thoughts, essentially). On the other hand, Krillin’s power isn’t dependent on the attractiveness of his opponent.